From 12 December 2011, day to day responsibility for the core activities of the farmsubsidy.org project will transfer from EU Transparency, based in the UK, to the European Fund for Investigative Journalism, a project of the Pascal Decroos Fond, a foundation based in Belgium. The project will benefit from financial support from the Open Society Foundation worth €78,000 over two years.
In this new phase, the core team of Nils Mulvad, Jack Thurston and Brigitte Alfter and a wider a network of journalists, data activists and analysts will remain in place and focus on the main access-to-data data and journalism work that have been at the core of the project since it began in 2005. In the past six years, the farmsubsidy.org project has been supported by several funders, the most significant of which was the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
In this new phase, the online database of payments under the common agricultural policy will continue to be available as a free service and new data will be collected and added to the database as it is disclosed. The project will continue to provide journalists with advice and support in their work on accessing, analysing and making sense of the data.
Following the setback of an adverse ruling by European Court of Justice on the current legal framework for transparency in EU funds, now is a critical time for civil society to secure better access to data on public expenditure. In this new phase, Brigitte Alfter, of the European Fund for Investigative Journalism, will take on the role of lead spokesperson and contact point for the farmsubsidy.org project.